Firefighters rally to help East Naples family


COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – Firefighters rally around a family who lost everything in a fire. Two children, who were home at the time, were treated for smoke inhalation but are doing better now.

It was like Christmas morning for 5 year old Jandiel and 22 month old Suliany on Thursday.

The Great Naples Department surprised the family with gifts. They brought toys for the kids, a bike for dad, and gift cards for the family. The items were all donated from the community.

“We just want to make sure the kids have a decent recovery” said Chief Kingman Schuldt. “It’s a traumatic experience and we want to be part of that process.”

Last Thursday, both children were rushed to the hospital after their apartment on Bayshore Drive went up in flames. Investigators said the kids uncle was drunk and decided to cook at 4 a.m. and ultimately caused the fire.

“It just broke my heart, because I never leave my kids with nobody and the one person that I trusted the most betrayed the worst” said Susanna Perez.

Not only did the family lose their home that day but Luis Cruz was fired from his job at Bravo Supermarket.

“I told him I can’t leave my kids, my kids come first. That’s what they did and unfortunately now I don’t have a job right now but I’m looking forward to finding one soon” said Cruz.

Right now the family is staying with a friend while they try to put the pieces back together.

“Thank you for saving us and thank you for the toys and the pencils” said Jandiel Perez-Cruz. So a visit from the ones that saved these two young kids went a long way.

“Thank you so much, we appreciate everything that you did for our kids because without you guys I don’t know where we’d be” said Perez.

The family tells WINK News their main focus is finding a new home and Luis another job so that they can move forward from this.

If you’d like to help the family contact the Greater Naples Fire Department at (239) 348-7540.

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